Main Dishes

Sausage and Kale Soup

Last week, around dinner time, I received a text from the mom of one of our Boy Scouts, a scout who is close to Eagling I might add. She sent a picture of her youngest son Nathan standing at the stove, stirring a pot. She wrote, “Sausage and kale soup from scratch! The Cooking Merit Badge is the best thing that ever happened to me!” I couldn’t be more proud or thrilled.

This is one of those moments when you dust off your hands and walk away saying, “My work here is done!” Nathan has embraced what he’s learned from a merit badge and he is applying it to his everyday life. His cooking skills will continue to grow and he’ll use them his whole life. And, just at look at that smile. He’s so proud of himself and his smile could light an entire city!

So, after the rave reviews from his family, we had to make the soup ourselves (and so I could photograph it). This is an easy soup to make in camp. It has a little prep and could easily be gotten onto the picnic table in about 30 minutes, making it a great meal for a Friday night after rolling into camp and setting up.

If you are a kale fan, you should like this soup. It’s warm and filling, but not heavy. We served it with our favorite cornbread. You could also make a crusty artisan bread. Any bread would go nicely.

For the sausage, Nathan used turkey sausage. We used a hot Italian pork sausage. Choose your sausage according to your likes and go as mild or as spicy as you want. The recipe calls for wine, which you could omit and just add more chicken stock. I opted to include the wine and used a chardonnay. For the kale, strip the leaves off the stocks and discard the stocks. The leaves just need a rough chop.

Equipment
6-quart Dutch oven or stock pot, knife, cutting board.

Ingredients
20 ounces sausage, ground or links (remove casings)
1 medium onion, diced
8 cups kale, fresh, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine
3 ¼ cups chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can white kidney or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
¼ teaspoon pepper

Prep
Chop the vegetables, drain and rinse the beans, and get everything measured out and ready. Once you start cooking, this one moves pretty quickly. In your Dutch oven, over medium heat, cook the sausage and onion until the sausage is no longer pink. Remove and set aside. Add the kale to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add wine and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the sausage and onions, and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until kale is tender.

Serves 8

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Kung Pao Chicken in Camp

When we go camping, we love to challenge ourselves to make meals you wouldn’t normally eat while camping. We’ve made stir fry in camp before so we know it makes great grub, fast and easy. Our go-to favorite has always been Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry. This time, we decided to make Kung Pao Chicken, one of my hubby’s favorites when we go out for Chinese food. The challenge was trying to replicate the signature flavors of this stir fry.

This was so much fun to make. It has all the veggies we love in Kung Pao Chicken with a smooth, slightly spicy sauce and crunchy peanuts. Dice your veggies and chicken as large or as small as you like. You can make this in a large cast-iron skillet, a cast iron wok or in a Dutch oven over coals or propane stove. Like any stir fry, you really want to do all of your prep work ahead of time so that when you put flame to your vessel you are ready to lock and load.

When we were shopping, we had a hard time finding unsalted peanuts so we ended up getting lightly salted cocktail peanuts, but we omitted the salt and it came out great. If you are concerned about salt, you can opt for low-sodium soy sauce and you can look a little harder for the unsalted peanuts. When we were stir frying, we waited until almost the end before we added the zucchini, which kept it firm and just the way we like it. We served our Kung Pao Chicken with white, long-grain rice because my son and daughter love rice.

Ingredients
5-6 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 4 tablespoons water
3-4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil
12 dried Asian chile peppers, snipped into small pieces
9 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced small
1 ½ stalks celery, very finely sliced
2 large red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 medium white onion
1-2 medium zucchini
3/4 cup unsalted peanuts
Salt to taste
3 green onions, sliced
Cooked lo mein or chow mein noodles, or white rice for serving

Prep
Dice all the vegetables and the chicken. For the sauce, combine the soy sauce, honey, ginger, cornstarch slurry, rice wine vinegar, garlic, and black pepper in a bowl. At this point, you might want to start your rice or noodles.

In a large skillet, wok or Dutch oven, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. Drop in the chiles and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to release the heat. Add the chicken and fry until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Add the white onion, celery, and red bell pepper and cook for 1 minute, then return the chicken to the skillet. Add the zucchini. Pour in the sauce mixture and cook until the sauce has thickened, a couple of minutes. Add the peanuts and toss together.

Serve over noodles or rice and garnish with sliced green onions. If the sauce becomes too thick, you can loosen it with a little water.

Serves 9

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Fantastic French Dip Sandwiches

This roast was fall-apart tender and soaked with juice and spices. The French dip sandwiches we made were so flavorful. It was hard not to go back and make a second sandwich, but I knew, if I did, I’d be groaning all afternoon.

In March, we were teaching outdoor cooking to adult volunteers at our annual Girl Scouts of Western Washington Outdoor Learning Weekend at Camp Robbinswold. Right after breakfast, we heated up a 12-inch deep Dutch oven on the propane stove, added some olive oil, and seared off the beef chuck roast. Then, we added all the spices and liquids, put on the lid, and set it on the fire.

I used my 12-inch deep because I wasn’t sure how much volume I was really going to have between the roast and the liquid. Our fire was a little hot and the deep oven allowed for some bubbling up room.

We let it simmer all morning. At lunchtime, I pulled it out and sliced it, but it really wasn’t necessary. I could have just pulled it apart in the Dutch oven. I returned the meat to the Dutch oven and the juice, and it was time to assemble our sandwiches. Because the meat is so juicy, I recommend a sturdy roll. If your roll is too soft, it will soak up all the juice and turn to mush. I would also recommend toasting the rolls on a grill or griddle. We did not, and I wish we had; it would have kicked it up yet another notch.

We split our rolls, piled on the juicy beef and topped the sandwiches with 2 slices of Provolone cheese. You could also layer on some sautéed onions, bell peppers, and/or mushrooms. You can ladle juice out of the Dutch oven for dipping, too, but we found it wasn’t necessary at all.

At home, you could make this in a slow cooker. Start it in the morning and just let it go all day on low. If you need to size up this recipe, just add a half pound of beef per extra person and then size up the other ingredients accordingly. I also wouldn’t worry too much about being exact. If you end up with a little more juice, who cares?!

Equipment
12-inch deep Dutch oven or a slow cooker

Ingredients
1 3-pound beef chuck roast
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cans (10.5 ounces each) beef consommé
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 cup Coca-Cola (or just add the whole can)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup onions, dried, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried
1/4 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 tablespoon beef bouillon, granulated
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 French rolls or hoagie buns
12 slices Provolone cheese

Prep
In camp, in a hot Dutch oven or, at home, in a hot cast iron skillet, add a little olive oil, and sear the beef on all sides. If you’re making this at home in a slow cooker, transfer the beef to the slow cooker. Add all the liquids and spices, put the lid on and cook low and slow. There really isn’t much more than that. Super simple to make. After hours of simmering, slice or pull apart and serve on sturdy French rolls or hoagie rolls with Provolone cheese, and/or grilled onions, peppers, and/or mushrooms. If desired, ladle au jus into bowls for dipping.

Serves 6

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Enchilada Pull-Aparts

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The first time I made these, I accidentally used diced jalapenos instead of diced green chilies. They were just a wee bit spicy, but we still really liked them. In addition to being hot and tasty, these go together in a snap and take only 30 minutes to bake. You can easily have dinner on the picnic table in under an hour. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and a salad, and you have a great meal.

This is also a dish that you can easily customize. I did, without even intending to, when I swapped the diced green chilies for diced jalapenos. You could swap the red enchilada sauce for green or swap the ground beef for chicken. You could add black beans, diced tomatoes, or some corn. Whatever floats your boat. Have some fun and make it your own. I’ll bet it becomes a family favorite.

Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven or 9×13 baking dish.

Ingredients
1 package of refrigerated biscuit dough
10 ounces enchilada sauce (we like to use red)
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning or use your own mix
4 ounce can diced green chilies or diced jalapenos
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated pepper jack or Monterey jack cheese

Prep

On a propane stove or over coals, in a Dutch oven, brown the ground beef. Drain the grease and stir in the taco seasoning and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir in the diced green chilies or jalapenos. Remove from heat and set aside. Start your coals.

Open the biscuits and slice each biscuit into 8 small pieces. Add the biscuits and enchilada sauce to the Dutch oven and lightly mix everything together like tossing a salad. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.

Bake in a 350°F oven, using 17 coals on the lid and 8 underneath, for 30 minutes or until the biscuits are cooked through and the cheese is fully melted. You could also load this into a 9×13 baking pan and bake it in a box oven, using about 14 coals.

Top with cilantro, avocado or guacamole, sour cream, hot sauce, etc.

Serves about 8

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Chipotle Chili

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Chilis are great because they are easy to make and hard to mess up. You can easily adjust the spice level to your liking or just add a dollop of sour cream and you’re good to go. Chili is solid camping food. Pair it with chips and/or a cornbread and you have a great meal.

The chipotle chili and adobo sauce in this chili brings a nice mellow heat, strong enough to taste and warm your belly, but not so hot that it lights your nose hairs on fire.

It has three kinds of beans, giving each bite a slightly different flavor. However, if you’re partial to a particular bean, you could use all the same beans and this chili would still taste great.

Start to finish, this takes about 90 minutes to get this chili on the table, which means plenty of time to make a cornbread to go with it.

chipotle_chili_img_2001_690px

Equipment
6 quart (12-inch) Dutch oven or pot

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced (1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
2 carrots, diced (1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 can (28 ounces) crushed or diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from the jar of chipotles
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Prep
Heat the oil in large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the ground beef; raise the heat and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink. Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano and salt and pepper. Simmer, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes. Stir in the beans and cook, partially covered, 20 minutes longer. Season to taste, with salt and pepper.

Serves 8 (1 1/4 cup servings)

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Mozzarella Stuffed Pizza Bombs

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These are so good. When we made these for the first time, they disappeared in about 5 minutes. They are best hot out of the oven while the cheese is still gooey. I’m not sure how they taste cold or reheated because they never last that long. Make sure you serve them with warm marinara sauce. They are a hit all by themselves, but dipping them in warm marinara knocks them out of the park!

These would make a great pre-dinner appetizer or as a side dish or as part of an evening cracker barrel. If you’re making these for an evening cracker barrel and want easy clean up, you could foil line your Dutch oven, but be sure to liberally grease the foil.

If you made enough of these, they could even be a main dish. To make them even more pizza-like you could wrap the mozzarella in a slice of pepperoni or Canadian bacon before wrapping them in the pizza dough. I just might have to try that.

They are a bit messy to make. Your hands end up covered in the butter-garlic mixture. I would have some hot soapy water standing by or use disposable food serving gloves.

You can make these using fresh oregano and garlic cloves or you can use dried minced garlic and dried oregano. I use dried oregano and dried, minced garlic and hand mix it.

I make a single batch in my 10-inch Dutch oven in camp or in my cast-iron skillet at home (it’s about the same size). I have not tried larger batches yet, but I imagine that if you doubled it, you could squeeze them into a 12-inch Dutch oven. They’d be cozy but it’s okay if they touch. If you do and it works, let me know.

I wonder how many I could squeeze into my 16-inch Dutch oven?! Hmmmm….

Equipment
10-inch Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet.

Ingredients
8 cloves of garlic, fresh, or 2 teaspoons dried, minced
1 tablespoon oregano, fresh, or 1 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
9 ounces of pizza dough or 1 tube of refrigerated pizza dough
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
10 ounces of mozzarella, cut into ¾-inch cubes, or 8 mozzarella sticks, quartered
Extra olive oil and butter for greasing the Dutch oven or skillet
Marinara sauce for dipping, warmed

At home in a food processor, combine garlic cloves, oregano, melted butter, olive oil, and salt until well mixed. Load into a container for transport to camp in the cooler. You could do this in camp without the food processor by just mincing the garlic and herbs by hand or using dried, minced garlic and dried oregano.

In camp, using a mixture of olive oil and butter, liberally grease a Dutch oven (if making these at home, you could use a cast-iron skillet).

On a flat, floured surface, roll out the pizza dough into a 9-by-9-inch square that’s a ¼ inch thick. Brush with the melted garlic-butter mixture and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 equal-sized squares. Place one piece of mozzarella or ½ of a stick (2 quartered pieces) into the middle of each piece of dough. Wrap the mozzarella up in the dough and seal the edges completely. In the Dutch oven or skillet, arrange all the balls, seam side down, so they’re touching. Brush each dough ball thoroughly with the garlic-butter mixture.

Bake in a 375°F oven, using 16 coals on the lid and 7 underneath, for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up. Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Serves about 5 as an appetizer, 3-4 as a main dish (because we can’t eat just 3 or 4)

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Hot Ham & Swiss Croissant Sandwiches

ham_swiss_croissants_img_1997_690px

Recently, I had an epiphany. I know, it happens sometimes. I was planning a menu for a weekend I knew would be cold and most likely rainy. For lunch, I wanted to serve a steaming bowl of soup and a hot sandwich, the perfect combo on a cold, rainy day.

I was inspired by my friend Chris over at CJ’s Kitchen who likes to foil wrap sandwiches and warm them in the oven, and they come out warm, gooey, and yummy. But how to do that in camp? And then, in a moment of brilliance, it occurred to me that I could use my 16-inch Dutch oven simply as a warming oven. Sounds simple enough but it was a paradigm shift for my brain, which is usually focused on actually cooking in my Dutch ovens.

For my hot sandwich, I decided to go with a classic ham and Swiss. I have to confess here that I have never been a Swiss cheese fan, but I knew this was a classic pairing so I decided to give it a try and I love it. The Swiss cheese pairs perfectly with the ham. The Dijon, honey, and brown sugar condiment is sweet and tangy. The croissants were soft and buttery. When warmed, the Swiss cheese became soft and gooey.

This is a simple sandwich to make. I premixed my condiment at home and loaded it into a container for the ride to camp. The croissants I found at the store were a little small, somewhere between a slider and a full size croissant, so I picked up enough for everyone to have two if they wanted. I was feeding hungry Scoutmasters after all.

In camp, assembly took a little bit of time, but I had some help from a fellow Scoutmaster so it went pretty fast. We individually wrapped them in foil and loaded them into the preheated 350°F Dutch oven. After 15 minutes, the sandwiches were warmed through and the cheese had melted.

Served with a hot bowl of soup, it was the perfect lunch on a cold, rainy day. The sandwiches were so good, most everyone came back for a second. These were a smash hit and I will definitely do this again.

On a related note, I also used my 16-inch Dutch oven that morning to hot hold pancakes and it worked perfectly. As we pulled the pancakes off the griddle, we loaded them into the warm oven and they were all toasty warm when it came time to eat. I now have a new use for my 16-inch as a warmer and a hot holder!

Ingredients
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 croissants split
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 pound deli ham (any flavor you like)

Prep
At home before you go or in camp, mix the mustard, honey and brown sugar together. Spread the honey mustard mixture on each side of the four split croissants. Place a slice of Swiss on each half of the croissants. Top the bottom half of each croissant with ham. Place the halves back together and wrap in foil. If you are assembling these at home before you go, place in a cooler for the ride to camp.

When it’s time to heat them, pile them into a Dutch oven and bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, using the number of coals appropriate for the size of your Dutch oven.

Serves 4

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Cottage Pie with Hashbrown Topping

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This is classic British comfort food from my paternal grandfather’s side of the family. People often confuse cottage pie with shepherd pie, which is made with lamb. Cottage pie is made with beef. For either recipe, you can use leftovers or fresh ingredients.

This recipe breaks from the traditional shepherd or cottage pie in that it uses shredded potatoes instead of mashed potatoes for the topping. But if you wanted to go the more traditional route, you could top this one with a mound of mashed potatoes. Either way, it’s yummy.

Instead of ground beef, you could use just about any cut of beef and cube it up before browning. It takes about an hour to get this dish on the table and it easily scales up if you’re feeding a crowd.

Cottage pie is a hearty dish loved by both adults and youth. The chili powder brings a nice subtle heat that keeps you warm long after dinner.

Equipment
12-inch Dutch oven or 9×13 deep baking dish, if feeding a crowd, double this recipe and bake it in a 16-inch Dutch oven

Ingredients for Potato Topping
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 russet potatoes, shredded, or about half a bag of frozen
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients for Meat Vegetable Mixture
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 spring onions or ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
1 ½ pounds ground beef or a roast, cubed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas and carrots
8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup finely grated Parmesan

Prep
Lightly grease Dutch oven or baking dish.

For the potato topping, in a medium bowl, combine grated potatoes, melted butter, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In Dutch oven, over medium heat (either coals or propane), melt butter and sauté onions and garlic until the onions are soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and chili powder and stir until you have a nice paste. Add tomatoes and beef broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. While I’m doing this I usually prep and start my coals. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat further and stir in the peas and carrots, and cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted.

Evenly cover the top of the casserole with the grated potato mixture and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake in a 425°F oven, or until crisp on top and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

If you’re making a single batch in a 12-inch Dutch oven, use 31 coals, 21 coals on the lid and 10 underneath.

If you’re making a double batch in a 16-inch Dutch oven, use 42 coals, 28 coals on the lid and 14 underneath.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Single batch serves 5-6.

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Vegetarian Three-Bean Chili

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A couple weeks ago, my daughter and I taught outdoor cooking to some amazing Girl Scout adult volunteers and teens. This vegetarian three-bean chili is one of the things we made. I promised them I would get it posted to the blog and here it is! We also made Cookie’s Cornbread and Granny Apple Crisp.

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This is a hearty chili that brings some nice welcomed heat on a cold, rainy day. We played it safe and used a mild salsa; however, you could up the heat by using a medium or hot salsa. You could also switch out one of the green bell peppers for some jalapenos or spicier chilies. So, if you like it hot, this chili could be easily modified to a 5-alarm fire chili! And, if it ends up being too hot for some, they can always cool it down with a little sour cream. Serve it with a good cornbread (I highly recommend mine!) and/or a nice salad with some cooling Ranch dressing. And, don’t forget the tortilla chips!

It occurs to me that if you wanted more of a creamier chili, you could also add a can or two of vegetarian refried beans. We may have to try that the next time we make this.

Equipment
6-quart stock pot or 12-inch Dutch oven

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
2 large green bell peppers, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can diced tomatoes
2½ cups vegetable stock
1 cup mild to hot red salsa
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ salt
½ teaspoon pepper
30 oz kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz pinto beans (vegetarian), rinsed and drained
1½ cups corn kernels

Prep
In a 6-quart stock pot or 12-inch Dutch oven, heat oil. Add the onion and bell pepper, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, vegetable stock, salsa, and remaining spices. Simmer, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes. Stir in the beans and corn, and cook, partially covered, 20 minutes longer. Adjust your seasoning as desired.

At home, you could also make this in a 5-quart slow cooker. Add everything to the slow cooker and stir gently to combine. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 7 on low.

Ladle into bowls and top with green onion, cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Serves about 6.

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Chicken Mini Pies

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1977_690pxThis has to be one of our family’s top 10 favorite things to eat. We don’t make them very often because they are a bit labor intensive, but they are well worth the effort. In fact, they taste so yummy that we nearly devour them as soon as they come out of the oven, piping hot and scalding our mouths in the process. But we just can’t stop ourselves. They are that yummy.

The cream cheese chicken mixture is well seasoned, but not spicy. It goes so well with the paprika seasoned pie crust. It’s comfort food you can hold in your hand.

To make assembly in camp easier, both the pie crust and the filling could be made ahead of time at home and ride to camp in a cooler. Here are a few more tricks we’ve learned along the way.

We chop all the vegetables really fine so every pie gets a nice variety of goodies. Dicing the veggies extra small also makes sure the filling is not too lumpy, which makes assembling the pies harder. When making the filling, we add the celery at the very last so it’s still a little crisp, but don’t forget to add it (like I’ve never done that before).

For the poultry seasoning, we prefer Johnny’s but you could also use Lawry’s or whatever poultry seasoning happens to be your favorite.

We make our own pie dough from scratch in 2 batches. I’ve tried to make one big batch, but it’s too hard to handle. For a flakier pie crust, make sure to refrigerate the dough before rolling out. So, making ahead actually works better for the pie crust.

If you choose to use store-bought pie dough, just give it a light, even, dusting of paprika as you roll it out. Use about a teaspoon of paprika and evenly distribute across your pie crusts. The pies won’t taste the same without the paprika pie dough. And you’ll need the equivalent of about 4-5 pie crusts.

To cut out the pastry rounds, we use Pampered Chef’s 4-inch round cut-n-seal or you can use a 4-inch biscuit cutter and then crimp the edges with a fork. I can bake 4 at a time in a 12-inch Dutch oven.

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I can bake 7 at a time in my 16-inch Dutch oven.

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1973_690pxI can bake 8 on a 17¼ x 11¼ baking sheet in a box oven (apple box) or a regular home oven.

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1968_690pxFor instructions on how to make a box oven, see my blog post, “DIY How to Build a Box Oven.”

Any way you bake them, they will disappear as fast as you can make them. Make sure you get one before they are gone!

Equipment
Dutch oven or 17¼ x 11¼ baking sheet, skillet, mixing bowl, pastry cutter, measuring cups and spoons, 4-inch round cut-n-seal or 4-inch biscuit cutter, and a 2-tablespoon ice cream scoop.

Filling Ingredients
¼ cup celery, finely diced
¼ cup onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups chicken, cooked and finely shredded, fresh or 2 13-ounce cans
3 tablespoons chicken broth
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup cream cheese

Pastry Ingredients (make 2 batches)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika
1 cup cold butter, grated or diced
8-10 tablespoons cold water

Prep Work for the Filling

In a large skillet, sauté onion in butter. Stir in chicken, broth, seasonings, and cream cheese. To the chicken mixture, add the celery and just heat it through.

Prep Work for the Pastry

Sift together flour, salt and paprika. Cut in butter until it resembles small peas. Gradually add water until ball forms. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled. Roll out pastry to 1/16-inch thickness. Cut rounds.

Assembly of the Meat Pies

Mound 2 tablespoons of filling on half of the rounds you cut (we use a small 2-tablespoon ice cream scoop).

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1964_690pxMoisten edges with water; place another round on top and seal the edges either with the cut-n-seal or with a fork.

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1965_690pxPlace in ungreased Dutch oven or on ungreased cooking sheet. Prick tops with a fork. Bake in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For a box oven, you’ll need about 15 coals.

For a 12-inch Dutch oven, you’ll need 27 coals, 9 underneath and 18 on the lid.

For a 16-inch Dutch oven, you’ll use 38 coals, 13 underneath and 25 on the lid.

Makes about 20 pies, which will feed 10 if everyone has 2 pies or 6 if everyone has 3 pies (it’s been known to happen). If there are leftovers, at home, they reheat very nicely in the microwave. In camp, we just wrap them in foil and warm them by the fire.

Chicken_Mini_Pies_IMG_1981_690px

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Categories: Box Oven, Dutch Oven, Main Dishes, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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